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French court acquits Le Pen of thought crimes.


From M&C News…

A French criminal court Thursday acquitted right- wing politician Jean-Marie Le Pen of charges of incitement against Muslims during a regional election campaign earlier in the year.

Human rights groups had filed a suit against the 81-year-old Le Pen, currently a deputy in the European Parliament, accusing him of religious incitement over a campaign poster of his National Front (FN) party last March.

The poster bore the message ‘no to Islamism’ and depicted a fully- veiled woman in front of a map of France, the Algerian national flag, and a missile resembling a minaret.

At the time, a court in Marseille, acting on complaints, ordered the posters to be removed.

In a hearing on October 28, prosecutors demanded a one-year suspension of Le Pen’s right stand for election, a two-month suspended jail term and a fine of 20,000 euros (27,000 dollars).

Le Pen’s defence argued successfully in court that the poster was not directed against Islam as a whole, but rather Islamism and that the suit had wrongly targeted him, instead of the FN.